France 'to propose 36 more Rafale jets to India': report


A deal for the supply by France to India of a further 36 Rafale fighter jets is to be discussed at a meeting between President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of this weekend's G7 summit in Biarritz, according to Indian media reports quoting unnamed sources. 

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France is likely to offer additional Rafale aircraft to India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the European country for the G-7 Summit on Thursday, reports The Economic Times quoting sources.

The French side, sources said, is set to offer an immediate sale of two more squadrons, which means 36 additional Rafale jets, to the Indian Air Force that has been grappling with depleting combat force levels. PM Modi is slated to meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday during which both sides will hold detailed deliberations on a range of subjects including key issues like defence and maritime cooperation.

While the 2016 deal for 36 Rafale jets was signed for 7.87 billion euros, sources said additional 36 aircraft would cost significantly less because payment for fixed costs covering India-specific enhancements, training equipment and infrastructure has already been made.

The two airbases that will house Rafales on order are capable of stationing additional jets without any changes, officials said, adding this would also reduce cost.